South Carolina’s mandatory ‘Home or Work’ order now in effect as cases top 2,400

Gov. Henry McMaster issues mandatory ‘Home or Work’ order in South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WBTV) - South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster’s mandatory “home or work” order went into effect Tuesday as the state reported more than 2,400 coronavirus cases.

All South Carolina residents should stay at home unless they are working, visiting family, participating in recreational outdoor activity or obtaining necessary goods, items or services, attending religious services or traveling as required.

The order went into effect Tuesday, April 7 at 5 p.m.

“It is time according to the data, according to the science,” McMaster said. “We hope that this order today will reduce the rising rate of infection and also reduce the rate of non-compliance (of staying home).”

Those who disobey the order can face a misdemeanor criminal charge with up to 30 days in jail and/or $100 fine for each day of violation, the governor said.

McMaster stated this order is in effect because too many people are on the road and on the water and are not abiding by social distancing to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. The order will not impact any individual’s ability to exercise outdoors or go for a walk as a family, but everyone should act responsibly and practice social distancing and proper personal hygiene.

As the order went into effect Tuesday, South Carolina was reporting 2,417 confirmed coronavirus cases and 51 virus-related deaths.

In the WBTV viewing area, the following counties have reported:

  • Chester County: 15 total
  • Chesterfield County: 16 total
  • Lancaster County: 46 total
  • York County: 108 total

The latest confirmed COVID-19 cases by ZIP code are available here.

All stores must limit customers to five customers per 1,000 sq. ft., or 20% of the business’ capacity -- whichever is less, the governor said. The stores must also enforce social distancing.

This executive order comes amid a large outcry for the governor to get more strict in his response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Starting at 5 p.m. April 6, stores selling furniture, clothing, shoes and jewelry are among the businesses ordered to close. Also on the list are florists, book stores, craft and music stores, as well as sporting goods stores. McMaster said the order comes after reports of non-compliance to social distancing.

On March 31, McMaster first announced the closure of many non-essential businesses across S.C. That list was then expanded with another executive order on April 3.

On April 3, the state suspended all short-term rentals, like hotels and resorts, to people coming from states that have been identified as “hot spots” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This does not apply to military, medical personnel, first responders or truck drivers.

As of April 5, DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory has conducted 7,950 tests for COVID-19. Of these tests, 923 were positive and 7,027 were negative. A total of 21,384 tests by both DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory and private labs have been conducted in the state.

As of April 5, 5,944 hospital beds were available and 6,202 are utilized, which is a 51.1 percent statewide hospital bed utilization rate.

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